Welcome to Ronnie’s 3 Ups and 3 Downs! This column looks at some fascinating matchups and facts that might pique the interest of the reader as that day’s games are reviewed. This is my attempt at creating compelling thought on any given day.
The 26 year old Mariner first baseman is finally hitting up to the massive potential that followed him through the minor leagues. THrough his first 13 games of the season he has an incredible .537 ISO and a .513 wOBA. He’s shown great patience with a 14.0% walk rate and though he’s striking out at a 30.0% clip, he has only a 9.9% whiff rate (league average is 11.0%).
Part of his high strikeout rate is due to him talking too many pitches in the zone. He has a Zswing of 49.4%, well below the league average of 66.8%. Once he learns to be more aggressive in the zone, he is going to be a very dangerous hitter.
As is it he has the 4th highest average exit velocity in the Majors at 97.4. He’s the real deal and I’d expect him to continue to slug the ball at an All-Star level.
The first player to make a second appearance on this series, Rendon has a great matchup today. He faces San Francisco Giants lefty Drew Pomeranz at home in Washington. Rendon is absolutely crushing lefties with a 331 wRC+ thus far on the year against them. He has a 66.7% FB against southpaws with a 50.0% HR/FB, making this a great day to put Rendon in your lineup.
Eflin is off to a great start this year. Through his first 16 innings on the year Eflin is striking out 10.1/9 and walking just 0.6/9 with a 3.24 SIERA. He’s got a great opportunity to build on that success today. He pitches on the road in Colorado, which usually spells trouble for a visiting pitcher, but the Rockies are really having a tough go of it offensively right now.
Over the last week, the Rockies have been the worst offense in the game with a -20.8 wRAA. As a team they have a 13.1% whiff rate, second worst in the Majors in the last week.
Avoid Soto today, he probably shouldn’t even be in the lineup. He faces Giants southpaw Drew Pomeranz this afternoon. Soto is abysmal against lefties this year. In 14 PA he has a 35.7% K and just a .231 wOBA. He’s also making just 22.2% HC with a 50.0% GB. This is just a terrible day to play Soto, avoid this matchup.
Over the last week Suarez has been struggling mightily with his contact. He leading the league in that time with 50.0% SC to go with just a 16.7% LD. He is making contact at just a 70.3% rate and he’s striking out at a 31.8% clip. It’s best to leave Suarez out of your lineup right now.
The Baltimore Orioles are on the road in Tampa Bay this evening. Cashner is not doing well this season. In 20.1 innings on the year he owns a 6.31 SIERA. He also has a higher walk rate (12.4%) than strikeout rate (10.1%). Today he faces arguably the hottest offense in the game. Tampa Bay is leading the Majors over the last 7 days with 16.0 wRAA with a .406 wOBA as a team.